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Should America Keep Giving Billions Of Dollars To Countries In Need? (NPR Goats and Soda)

May 18, 2017

From the article:

The first challenge is to defining "development." In a broad sense, it means economic growth — increasing the size of a country's economy over time.

For Moore, it's clear what leads to economic growth — and it's not foreign aid. "All these countries have to do is cut taxes, provide private property rights and get involved in global markets," he told NPR in a follow-up interview. He cites as evidence the Heritage Foundation's Freedom Index, which asserts that the less control a government exerts over its economy, the higher its citizens' incomes are.

It's a bit more complicated than that, suggests Charles Kenny, a senior fellow at the Center for Global Development, a think tank that focuses on poverty and inequality around the world. "The short answer is, we don't know what causes economic growth," he says. "Development economists have gone through loads of different theories."


So now let's go back to Moore's statement. Can we really say that there's "zero evidence" that U.S. foreign aid has had an impact on development?

"That's false," says Amanda Glassman, chief operating officer at the Center for Global Development. If we interpret "development" to mean an improvement in overall well-being, then "there's plenty of evidence that shows aid has worked" — including aid from the U.S., she says.

Read full article here.

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Chief Operating Officer, Senior Fellow, and Board Secretary
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Director of Technology and Development and Senior Fellow